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Old 02-10-2009, 09:25 PM   #46
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I really enjoyed it too. Although now all this talk of addiction and recovery has the withdrawl scenes from Trainspotting stuck in my head.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:52 PM   #47
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The atheists are out in force to rule America with their jackbooted liberalism
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President Obama's proposed economic stimulus plan makes a deliberate – and unconstitutional – attempt to censor religious speech and worship on school campuses across the nation, according to a lawyer who argued related cases before the U.S. Supreme Court 20 years ago and won them all.

"This isn't like a convenient oversight. This is intentional. This legislation pokes its finger in the eyes of people who hold religious beliefs," Jay Sekulow, chief of the American Center for Law and Justice, told WND today.

His was the organization that decades ago argued on behalf of speech freedom on school campuses, winning repeatedly at the U.S. Supreme Court. Since then, the 2001 Good News Club v. Milford Central School District decision was added, clarifying that restricting religious speech within the context of public shared-use facilities is unconstitutional.

The problem in the proposed stimulus bill comes from a provision that states: "PROHIBITED USES OF FUNDS. - No funds awarded under this section may be used for - (C) modernization, renovation, or repair of facilities - (i) used for sectarian instruction, religious worship, or a school or department of divinity; or (ii) in which a substantial portion of the functions of the facilities are subsumed in a religious mission."

The wording that specifically targets religious speech already has been approved by the majority Democrats in the U.S. House – all GOP members opposed it. In the Senate, Jim DeMint, R-S.C., proposed an amendment to eliminate it, but again majority Democrats decided to keep the provision targeting religious instruction and activities.

Critics argued schools would accept any money offered, then impose a ban on religious events.

DeMint warned organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ, Catholic Student Ministries, Hillel and other religious groups would face new bans on access to public facilities that would not apply to other organizations.

"This is a direct attack on students of faith, and I'm outraged Democrats are using an economic stimulus bill to promote discrimination," DeMint said. "Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for siding with the ACLU over millions of students of faith."
Stimulus to ban religious worship
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:27 AM   #48
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I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that we clearly have a (closet) atheist in power
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:25 PM   #49
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** moment of levity **


So Eric Cantor, the House minority whip, found himself in a bit of hot water today when an aide with severely impaired judgment decided to respond to a current ad campaign (which criticizes Cantor for leading GOP opposition to the economic recovery package, and is underwritten by the public-workers' union AFSCME) by emailing to journalists a heavily profanity-spiked, parody-by-overdub of an old AFSCME ad from the 1970s. Oops! What makes this even funnier is that Cantor was a forceful campaigner for the 2005 Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act, pontificating from the floor of the House at the time that "[t]he use of obscenity…should not and cannot be tolerated. As a parent, I share the concerns of many regarding the level of offensive television and radio programs that are transmitted into our homes. The recent violations that have occurred disgusted not only me, but damage our society...we will not be satisfied until those responsible...have been reprimanded."

Cantor's office issued a formal apology after their nonplussed recipients circulated the email online, drawing a highly indignant response from AFSCME and a rash of unflattering blogosphere "publicity." I'd be willing to bet this aide's head is gonna roll--as the National Review's Jim Geraghty wryly commented, "Yeah...probably shouldn't have done that."


We Don't Take Sh*t from NOBODY! You Got That, A**hole?
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:36 PM   #50
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But more importantly, has this Cantor staffer paid his TAXES ???
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:50 AM   #51
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Back to the unfunny stuff...
Quote:
Victory for Obama, but in a New Political Climate

by RICHARD W. STEVENSON
New York Times, February 11, 2009


WASHINGTON — It is a quick, sweet victory for the new president, and potentially a historic one. The question now is whether the $789 billion economic stimulus plan agreed to by Congressional leaders on Wednesday is the opening act for a more ambitious domestic agenda from President Obama or a harbinger of reduced expectations.

Both the substance of his first big legislative accomplishment and the way he achieved it underscored the scale of the challenges facing the nation and how different a political climate this is from the early stages of recent administrations. While it hammered home the reality of bigger, more activist government, the economic package was not the culmination of a hard-fought ideological drive, like Lyndon B. Johnson’s civil rights and Great Society programs, or Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts, but rather a necessary and hastily patched-together response to an immediate and increasingly dire situation. On the domestic issues Mr. Obama ran and won on—health care, education, climate change, rebalancing the distribution of wealth—the legislation does little more than promise there will be more to come.

In cobbling together a plan that could get through both the House and the Senate, Mr. Obama prevailed, but not in the way he had hoped. His inability to win over more than a handful of Republicans amounted to a loss of innocence, a reminder that his high-minded calls for change in the practice of governance had been ground up in a matter of weeks by entrenched forces of partisanship and deep, principled differences between left and right. In the end, Congress did not come together to address what Mr. Obama has regularly suggested is a crisis that could rival the Great Depression. What consensus has been forged so far is likely to be tested in the months to come as he faces scrutiny over the effectiveness of the stimulus package and the likelihood that he will have to ask Congress for substantially more money to heal the fractures in the financial system.

So this was hardly a moment for cigars.

If this is the 21st-century version of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 100 Days, Mr. Obama seems to be pursuing it more as an urgent but imposed necessity than as a self-selected mission. While he has deployed his political capital freely to win approval of the package and to begin pushing his version of a financial-system rescue, he has left little doubt that he is eager to move on to the rest of his domestic agenda. At his news conference on Monday night, Mr. Obama said with a hint of exasperation that a costly economic rescue package “wasn’t how I envisioned my presidency beginning.” Regardless of the government’s budgetary straits, Mr. Obama has signaled that he sees his other signature initiatives not just as salvageable but as more urgent than ever. Yet since Election Night, when he warned of “setbacks and false starts” and called for “a new spirit of sacrifice,” he has assiduously managed the politics of the moment with an eye toward tempering expectations and limiting the risk to himself and his party.

In his own telling, the legislation Congress is about to send him is imperfect and may not work. His political standing, he suggested to an audience in Florida on Tuesday, could tumble if voters do not see results in the next two years. It is a sharp and calculated shift from the expansive promises, explicit and implied, that carried him to the White House. “He has been very consistent, really since the night of his election victory, that it took a long time to get into this and it will take a long time to get out of it,” said William Galston, a domestic policy aide in the Clinton White House who is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, the liberal-leaning research organization. “And there’s some evidence that the American people are prepared to be patient.” But Mr. Galston said Mr. Obama may not yet have fully absorbed the difficulties he faces in pressing for expensive policy initiatives to make health care more affordable and accessible, address global warming, provide more money for education and promote research into alternative energy sources. “The president hasn’t done as good a job of preparing the nation for the tradeoffs necessary to reconcile the hope agenda with the fear agenda,” Mr. Galston said. “I’d be surprised if a Congress still reeling from sticker shock in terms of the stimulus and the financial rescue are willing to pony up for a full-bore reform of the health system.”

David Winston, a Republican pollster, said that whatever big goals Mr. Obama and the base of the Democratic Party remain eager to achieve, voters for the most part are going to be focused on one thing: whether the economic measures sponsored by the new administration prove effective in halting and reversing job losses. “He’s going to have to fit other issues into the larger narrative of the economy,” Mr. Winston said.

Mr. Obama has long since begun trying to do just that. He has been framing rising health care costs not just as a social issue, but as one affecting the viability of American industry. Cleaning up the environment and weaning the economy from its dependence on oil are opportunities to create new, well-compensated jobs. Education is an investment in the economy’s long-term competitiveness. But those assertions will run up against a variety of countervailing forces: a rapidly rising national debt, a strain of populist anger, a smaller but energized Republican minority and divisions among Democrats about priorities, to name a few. Getting past them promises to be as tricky for Mr. Obama as was this first victory.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:56 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yolland View Post
** moment of levity **

--
Cantor's office issued a formal apology ...
Attempts like these (and Palin, Joe the Plumber etc) to connect to middle America are so outrageously off the mark that you can't help but want to encourage them to try a little harder...

YouTube - You can do it montage.
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:24 PM   #53
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A new site where you're supposed to be able to track how the stimulus money is used

Home | Recovery.gov
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:43 PM   #54
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The part of the plan to assist some people in foreclosure is very problematic.


It is not possible to pick "deserving" borrowers while passing over others.



If Obama is lucky,
Congress will kill this portion of the bill.

If it moves on, there will be big consequences for Obama.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:00 PM   #55
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YouTube - Obama's So-Called Stimulus: Good For Government, Bad For the Economy
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:09 AM   #56
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The Fed�s Dilemma by David Gitlitz on National Review Online

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The Fed’s Dilemma
Will the central bank withdraw inflationary liquidity too soon, too late, or just in time?

By David Gitlitz


During the credit crisis, the Federal Reserve has gone to unprecedented lengths to provide the financial system with abundant supplies of liquidity. There are two purposes behind these actions: to guard against the risk of systemic failure and to root out the deflationary forces that appeared in conjunction with the risk-abhorrence of last fall. Up to this point, these efforts have mostly worked.

It is likely, however, that this extraordinary exercise in monetary ease will at some point have significant inflationary consequences. And the Fed will face a big dilemma if this happens before the market is restored to stability and the economy has emerged from recession. In this scenario, the Fed would have to either tolerate significantly higher inflation for a period, or tighten its policy in the face of still-significant weakness in the economy and markets.

The Fed’s task was made no easier when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner unveiled the details of his bank-rescue plan — the Public Private Investment Program — which makes the Fed a major supplier of financing to support purchases of toxic assets that are now clogging the banking system. Excluding this program, the Fed’s own rescue plans could force its balance sheet to balloon to near $4 trillion over the next several months, up from less than $1 trillion last September. Including the Treasury program, another $2 trillion could be added to the total.

Some of this liquidity could be offset through a program whereby the Treasury issues debt and deposits the proceeds with the Fed. That would serve to drain funds from the system, partly sterilizing the Fed’s asset acquisitions. But the Treasury’s capacity to issue debt to fund this program may be limited. The first sign of resistance to the massive borrowing requirements being borne by the federal government came at a recent auction of five-year notes: Demand for the debt was less than expected. So it’s questionable whether the Treasury will essentially want to compete against itself by floating a large amount of additional debt to fund the Fed.

And even if that Treasury assistance goes through, it would account for a relatively small part of the total liquidity that has been added to the system through the Fed’s acquisition of assets.

The Fed is now proceeding on the explicit assumption that once the crisis fades and the economy enters recovery, it can unwind its balance sheet quickly enough to avoid a significant breakout of inflation. But that assumption may rely on faulty premises.

For one thing, the Fed is aggressively expanding a program that provides loans with three-year terms. Unless there is some way of sterilizing the impact of those loans, it will be impossible for the Fed to withdraw that liquidity until the loans come due. At the same time, the Fed is acquiring mortgage-backed securities, assets that may prove difficult to unload at a later date.

There’s also a larger issue at stake: Will the Fed actually know when it’s the right time to unwind its balance sheet? And since it has gone to unprecedented lengths in carrying out its extraordinary monetary ease, how easily and quickly will it be able to shift from an anti-deflationary to an anti-inflationary mindset? When that choice arrives, the Fed may opt for what it considers the least risky solution: tolerating a higher-inflation environment in the interest of market and economic stability.

On that score, a surprisingly honest acknowledgement of the potential quandary facing the central bank came last month from Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Richmond Fed. Lacker told a group at the College of Charleston that the potential inflationary impact of the Fed’s actions “depends on our skill at the Federal Reserve in withdrawing the stimulus in a timely way. That is a very delicate, very hard policy.”

Lacker referred to the “spotty” nature of an economy in recovery, and asked, “Do we keep policy easy and stimulative because of the sectors that are lagging behind . . . or do we get ahead of the curve? It’s going to be a tough call.”

Lacker has strong anti-inflation credentials. So to hear him describe the Fed’s looming choice as a “tough call” seems to raise the probability that the Fed will accede to an inflationary — and unnerving — outcome.
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Old 05-15-2009, 04:12 PM   #57
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Yonkers Tribune : Gerald Celente Trends Alert - The "Bailout Bubble" - The Bubble to End All Bubbles

Quote:
The biggest financial bubble in history is being inflated in plain sight, said Gerald Celente, Director of The Trends Research Institute. "This is the Mother of All Bubbles, and when it explodes," Celente warns, "it will signal the end to the boom/bust cycle that has characterized economic activity throughout the developed world."

Either unwilling or unable to call the bubble by its proper name, the media, Washington and Wall Street describe the stupendous government expenditures on rescue packages, stimulus plans, buyouts and takeovers as emergency measures needed to salvage the severely damaged economy.

"All of this terminology is econo-jargon," said Celente. "It's like calling torture 'enhanced interrogation techniques.'

Washington is inflating the biggest bubble ever: the 'Bailout Bubble.' "This is much bigger than the Dot-com and Real Estate bubbles which hit speculators, investors and financiers the hardest. However destructive the effects of these busts on employment, savings and productivity, the Free Market Capitalist framework was left intact. But when the 'Bailout Bubble' explodes, the system goes with it."

The economic framework of the United States has been restructured. Federal interventionist policies have given the government equity stakes, executive powers and management control of what was once private enterprise. To finance these buyouts, rescue and stimulus packages -- instead of letting failed businesses fail and bankrupt banks and bandit brokerages go bankrupt -- trillions of dollars are being injected into the stricken economy.

Phantom dollars, printed out of thin air, backed by nothing ... and producing next to nothing ... defines the "Bailout Bubble." Just as with the other bubbles, so too will this one burst. But unlike Dot-com and Real Estate, when the "Bailout Bubble" pops, neither the President nor the Federal Reserve will have the fiscal fixes or monetary policies available to inflate another.

With no more massive economic bubbles left to blow up, they'll set their sights on bigger targets. "Given the pattern of governments to parlay egregious failures into mega-failures, the classic trend they follow, when all else fails, is to take their nation to war," observed Celente.

Since the "Bailout Bubble" is neither called nor recognized as a bubble, its sudden and spectacular explosion will create chaos. A panicked public will readily accept any Washington/Wall Street/Main Stream Media alibi that shifts the blame for the catastrophe away from the policy makers and onto some scapegoat.

"At this time we are not forecasting a war. However, the trends in play are ominous," Celente concluded. "While we cannot pinpoint precisely when the 'Bailout Bubble' will burst, we are certain it will. When it does, it should be understood that a major war could follow."
Um, wtf. The figures thrown around these days are so outrageous that they seem meaningless...

Moneynews - Video: Federal Reserve Cannot Account for $9 Trillion
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Old 05-16-2009, 06:50 AM   #58
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The con is, we are sinking deeper into debt as a country and soon will be owned by China.
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Old 05-16-2009, 10:25 AM   #59
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That would be a good reason to hyperinflate the dollar (debt) into worthlessness, yes?
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Old 05-16-2009, 05:26 PM   #60
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I'm so glad Canada didn't go as far into debt, though I would have been happier if some social spending had been trimmed to balance the budget. Everyone is a Neo-Keynesian in the foxhole.
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